My late mother, June Leslau (and I…)

I’m sitting here after my boxing workout wearing just a towel and socks, feeling compelled to blog about Mother’s Day, taking place this Sunday 15th March. It’s a look that might just catch on, dear IG.

My mum died when I was 30. She was my world. As I sat in Blues restaurant in Camp’s Bay, Cape Town, South Africa, almost 15 years ago, eating some of the finest chicken livers on the planet, I had a vision she was in hospital with pneumonia. She was. I had just made a decision to move to Cape Town (in my head) and my mum had begged to come with on that holiday. Within two weeks, we watched her flat line, having been in the ICU for a week or so.

It happens, I know. Lots of people in my life lost their mums at a young age or never knew or remember their mums. It affects you, at any age. It affects how you relate to people. Whether you like it or not. You just have to put one step in front of the other and learn to walk again.

I myself can never bear a child. I had a hysterectomy a few months ago but even with my womb within me, I never could have carried full term. My darling niece Rebekah is expecting her second child this year, reiterating the circle of life and how it so beautifully crafts its arc. As you can see, the overall theme of motherhood is quite poignant right now. My two rescue dogs are getting a whole load of cuddles.

So what I decided to do is write an ode to MUMS, the ones we know and knew and for the ones yet to come. I hope you like it…

The Full Term

For the nine month term you feel us inside

Til the big day arrives and you spread yourself wide

Our new life ahead, you pledge with your sweat

A selfless commitment, for we can’t talk yet

Every milestone and ache, you stand by our side

Tenacious and strong, like a lioness with her pride

Whatever the weather on the barometer of life

From Cornwall to Calcutta and Fontainebleau to Fife

You are there for the full term.

As time passes and ‘term’ becomes school

You continue to stand by your unforgiving rule

The path you have walked, the role you uphold

Even if we are rude and with a need to scold

You are there, always there, just as night becomes day

The one we run to when life gets in the way

So for Mums the world over, both of present and past

May I take this bow with my own at half mast

You were there for the full term (for me, my first and my last)

Happy Mother’s Day!